FAA Approves Eclipse 550 for Final Assembly
The FAA today awarded Eclipse Aerospace an amended production certificate authorizing the final assembly, test and certification of the Eclipse 550 very light jet.
The original production certificate the FAA granted Eclipse last year allowed the Albuquerque, New Mexico, company to manufacture the Eclipse 550 and its parts in compliance with the FAA-approved type design, but it required direct FAA oversight of the flight test and certification phases. The amended certificate now allows Eclipse not only to manufacture the Model 550, but also to flight test and grant airworthiness certificates for the twinjet under its FAA-approved quality system.
“Manufacturers are typically required to build their first group of aircraft under the supervision of the FAA,” noted Eclipse CEO Mason Holland. “We have 550s moving down the production line in Albuquerque and, armed with our full green light from the FAA for final assembly and test, we are on our way to delivering jets this year.”
New production Eclipse 550s will begin deliveries in the third quarter, Holland said. They will come complete with a dual Avio IFMS avionics suite, independent standby display units and a 20,000-cycle airframe, plus options for synthetic vision, enhanced vision, autothrottles and anti-skid brakes.
Base price for the Eclipse 550 has been set at $2.695 million.